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Senior pupils in primary goal

St Teresa pupils learn to be creative with Kuranui’s Maija Berry. PHOTO/CATHERINE ROSSITER-STEAD

Wairarapa primary school pupils are learning new skills as part of an innovative programme being delivered by Kuranui College students.

Kuranui’s Masterclass programme has been developed through community consultation with the South Wairarapa Kahui Ako.

They aim to build a community of learning, with a focus on the learners. While based in schools, its collaborative leaders are always looking to involve the wider community.

During the past two years, pupils from Years 4 to 8 across 14 schools in Carterton and South Wairarapa have visited Kuranui to work alongside the college’s senior students.

“The classes are designed to build connections, grow leadership, and encourage student agency,” said Kuranui and South Wairarapa Kāhui Ako teacher, Kathryn Homes.

“Either to share a passion or choose topics that interest them.”

For the first time, Kuranui students were taking the Masterclass format directly to the schools to work with the younger Years 1 to 3. This unique opportunity has been given to the college’s junior leaders, who are now delivering the programme across the region.

The first school visited was St Teresa’s in Featherston.

“In our classic Masterclass model, Years 4 to 8 visit Kuranui to work with our seniors.” Homes said.

“This has been so successful over the past two years that we decided to extend the model. This was our first time out with our junior leaders, and it was just magical.

“The young students from St Teresa’s were so excited to work with the older students. We really felt the aroha. Thank you to St Teresa’s and all the akonga involved.

“I am, as always, exceptionally proud of the outstanding students we have at Kuranui.”

The afternoon included learning drama techniques, practising ball-hand-eye co-ordination skills, new computer skills, creative painting, how to tackle puzzles and jigsaws, making a video for the school to use on its website, and designing and flying the perfect paper aeroplane.

Georgia-May Hill was responsible for helping the youngsters put together their own promotional video for the primary school.

“I enjoyed their imagination and creativity when they made the movie,” she said.

“There are lots of things they love about their school, and they were passionate about sharing them.”

Fellow Kuranui leader Olivia Morison agreed.

“It was good to interact with young kids. They were fun to hang out with.”

St Teresa’s acting principal Carrie Wilson said Kahui Ako initiatives like this are fantastic for the families involved with the schools, creating a strong connection with former pupils.

“The junior tamariki loved that the masterclasses were for them, not the big kids,” she said.

“They were excited to connect with past students like Taylor and Isaac.

“There was an awesome variety of workshops that they could choose from, and they loved the attention given to them by the college students, especially within the small group sizes that they worked in.

“The students were in groups that they had chosen themselves, and it was lovely to see student agency in action, even with five and 6-year olds.

“This is a great example of tuakana-teina in action.”

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